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  1. #1
    100% italian mtbiker
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    My first light: Evolution "Easy DIY" (triple X-RE R2)

    ( SCROLL DOWN THE PAGE FOR PICS OF THE FINISHED LIGHT )


    Hi everyone.
    Actually my light is not finished yet, so I will keep updating this article until I get all the missing pieces together. In the meanwhile I'll start writing something down.

    I wanted to open a thread to help out all those who are approaching the diy-light world like me, and to thank all the guru guys who advised me.

    Brief description
    This is a simple allmountain-oriented, bar-mounted 3-led light, with dimming, aimable leds and led temperature control.

    Useful discussions
    Here you can find a lot of useful information for building a similar light:

    Beginner needs building advices for this simple project
    Custom-Built Triple Cree XR-E LED Light - Finished
    Custom-Built Triple Cree XR-E LED Light - Finished
    DIY done cheap
    Custom-Built Triple Cree XR-E LED Light - Finished
    Temperature control circuit inspired by:
    http://www.heatsink-guide.com/conten...=control.shtml

    Required components/tools
    This light can be build with components that can be easily found even if you don't live in the US/UK. I'll post the link of the suppliers I relied on (I live in Italy).

    • 3x LEDs: Cree XR-E R2 ---- Dealextreme.com
    • Driver: Luxdrive BuckPuck 3023-D-E-1000 ---- Luxeonstar.com
    • Case: Hammond 1455L1201BK ---- Farnell.com
    • Lenses: Ledil CRS, 2x "M", 1x "SS" ---- CP Forum group-buy
    • Batteries: Tenergy Li-ion pack 14.8V 4400mA (+ charger) ---- Ebay
    • generic Alu black-anodized heat-sink ---- local electronics shop
    • 3mm transparent plexiglass ---- "LeRoy Merlin" megastores
    • 5mm "smoked" (fum) plexiglass ---- I had some left at home, taken from factory
    • Battery cables and connectors ---- Hobbycity.com
    • Exposure Quick Release Handlebar Bracket ---- ChainReactionCycles
    • Alu L profile, 2mm thick ---- try Ebay, aluminium factories (Mida for Italy), local iron recycling shops
    • Epoxy Glue: UHU Plus ---- "LeRoy Merlin" or "Castorama" megastores
    • "neutral" (solvents-free) Silicone ---- "LeRoy Merlin" megastores
    • Thermal paste ---- any computer shop, I guess
    • Dremel small grinding stone ---- "LeRoy Merlin" megastores


    Building pics
    I'm not writing an exaustive step-by-step guide, it would take too long. I hope the pics I've taken during the toughest steps are self-explanatory. Of course you can ask for further info or tips.


    Modeling the lenses holder (see one of the threads above) to have them fit the wired led stars. A wooden model will help. Remove the lenses with a small flat screwdriver (see threads above).


    Preparing the led holders for the leds.


    Thermal paste on the middle of the stars.


    Epoxy glue on the edges of the stars and also on the holder when in place. A thermally conductive glue like Arctic Alumina would help here.



    Wiring the leds.


    Neutral silicone to attach the lenses to the leds.


    The electronc circuit.


    All the core parts ready to be assembled.
    Notes: I'm using the hammond case top-down: the sliding part is on top, so the bottom is more solid. The electronic circuit also goes top down. The heatsink still has to be modeled for a better look.

    I will add further pics of the opened assembled light once I've finished it, so you can make an idea of the aimable leds. Please be patient

    Right now I miss cables, connectors, batteries, handlebar mount, because the project was not defined in advance in regard of these aspects.


    ciao,
    jack.
    Last edited by mdsjack; 01-24-2009 at 06:07 AM.

  2. #2
    MTBiker
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    What type is that potentiometer (resistance, W rating, etc)? It's huge! Is it wired right in series or to a control circuit?


    Have you lit up the R2's yet? If so, do they all look the same brightness & tint or not?
    We can bomb the world to pieces, but we can't bomb it into peace -Michael Franti

  3. #3
    aka RossC
    Reputation: ocean breathes salty's Avatar
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    Great write up and nice Newb friendly pics and links. I can't wait to see the beam shots!

  4. #4
    mtbr member
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    Quote Originally Posted by ocean breathes salty
    Great write up and nice Newb friendly pics and links. I can't wait to see the beam shots!
    I echo Saltys comments here

    I am not keen on the popups from the pic hosting
    By nice to see the pics without going to image shack
    but that is just me being lazy

  5. #5
    mtbr member
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    Quote Originally Posted by kuksul08
    What type is that potentiometer (resistance, W rating, etc)? It's huge! Is it wired right in series or to a control circuit?
    If you read the items list at the start of the article you'll see he is using a dimmable BuckPuck, so it will be a 5k pot. I guess the standard size was easier to find than a miniature one.

  6. #6
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    mdsjack, good luck.

    I look forward to seeing how you will aim the beams

    Good choice of mount, I use them on my DIY lights. (I wish Exposue would drop the price though).

  7. #7
    100% italian mtbiker
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    I have already lit the leds, and being a newbie, they all looked pretty much the same, to me. no visible faults if it's what you mean.

    The leds actually are mostly pre-aimed, comparing to a traditional "Easy DIY", but a small adjustment is possible. Of course on a horzontal line, only. the housing doesn't allow vertical adjustment, although it would be useful for the middle led.

    As for the lenses, for throw light, there's a huge difference between Diffuser and Smooth Spot. Use the second one.

    On note about the buckpuck: on the datasheet it's advised to use a capacitor when using long power supply cables: WARNING: place it before the on/off switch or the dimming on the puck won't start working until the capacitor is fully charged, leading to an awkward behavior of the driver. That surprised me.

    As for the DIMMING, here's a few useful general info:
    1) even using a linear pot, you won't get a linear dimming at "naked eye": the light would drop very fast at the start and you won't see any noticeable change at the top end of the dimming. Considering that, I would definitely opt for a basic 3-position SWITCH for my next light.

    2) planning to have a perfectly linear dimming, my original project was a series of: 820ohm fixed resistor, 1Ko on board trimmer, 2.2K pot. So that summed up would roughly give the tot of 5Kohm, only the 2.2 range had to be used regularly and the bottom/top limits were controlled by the fixed resistor and adjustable trimmer.
    Later I modified the circuit with a 4.7K pot and a smaller resistor to get to 5K. Now the dimming is usable.

    3) I couldn't easily find miniature pots.


    About the temperature control:
    be wise enough to buy a heat sensor which runs at 100C as most of the smallest ones will tilt at 80C. I set mine using boiling water.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by mdsjack
    I couldn't easily find miniature pots.
    the puck i brought had one of these attached for the dimming control, i know they work cause the kids got to it before me and it became "detached" so i had to get a new one.

  9. #9
    100% italian mtbiker
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    LIGHT FINISHED (almost)

    SO, I finally got the bar mount, so I made the final assembly of the light. I still need batteries and connectors, so I'll post real beamshots when everything is done.

    Here's a few pics of the assembled light!


    Thermal paste to assembly leds and heatsink.


    The translucent back plate (the temperature alert led is on the left of the pot).


    The finished light, on my bike.


    A detailed view of the pre-aimed (and aimable) leds.


    The back.


    The light on.


    The light on, from the translucent back.


    THAT'S ALL.

    As I said, when it stops raining and the light is running powered by the real battery, I'll post some technical beamshots here.

    I will soon let you know how the light works on the trail and if there are design leaks, such as weight or fable bar mount.


    Thanks everyone for your support and inspiration.

    Jack.

  10. #10
    mtbr member
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    Very interesting how do you adjust the side ones







    Hate imageshack though

  11. #11
    100% italian mtbiker
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    They are fixed to a Alu L (see pics above) shaped so that the outer corners don't hit the side of the case. Each L has a single screw in the middle of the base, so that the whole single led can rotate on its axis.
    In this pic they are pre-aimed to give (almost) the widest beam, which is what I was looking for. So I've drilled the case to have them fit this way, but they can still be turned till they are parallel to each other (but this gives a very narrow yet bright beam, which I don't need).

    The screws have washers and bolts, so leds can be tweaked for any need. Actually in my build the two side screws are beneath the heatsink which should be removed to allow adjustment. As I said, though, I have pre-aimed the leds to suit my needs.


  12. #12
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    nicely - beamshots?

  13. #13
    100% italian mtbiker
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    No accurate beamshots now, as it's running on undervoltage battery pack.
    But since it has just stopped raining, I've taken a few pics, just to give an idea of the kind of beam.
    (Excuse the mess in the backyard - doing some works at home )

    1. Control (samsung nv30 - manual - AWB: daylight - ISO100 - 6" - 4.0)


    1. Beam (way brighter than in real life, as well as Control pic)
    The light is not horizontal, but aimed at about 6/7meters ahead.


    Than a couple of non-technical shots that show a very useful "side light" and a bright area on the ground ahead.
    (samsung nv30 - manual - AWB: automatic - ISO100 - 6" - 2.8)




  14. #14
    Lets RIDE!
    Reputation: Jim Z in VT's Avatar
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    I'm thinking you need more chairs.



    nice light!

    JZ
    It's not about speed, it's about lack of control.

  15. #15
    100% italian mtbiker
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    lol, those are for barbeques...

    thanks!

  16. #16
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    looks like it came out pretty good for you. let us know how well it works and the other goods/bads.

  17. #17
    100% italian mtbiker
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    So far I've only tested the hardware daytime: despite its weight of 330grams it seems pretty solid. On a very bumpy trail where the fork is really stressed, it held perfectly. On the last part of the trail (inside a dry river) I noticed the clamp losen a bit or maybe it moved to the side of the bar, where it gets narrower, so the light slightly pointed down. I will try using loctite on the screw and fixing it firmer next time.

    Still couldn't intensively test the light because the Tenergy battery charger was faulty and I'm still waiting for the replacement (coming in 2/3 weeks).

    Anyway I've already noticed that placing it inside a room (home heating turned on) set at about 3/4 of power the alarm led never turns on. at full power it starts approaching the 90-100C in about 20 minutes.

  18. #18
    100% italian mtbiker
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    After some real life testing, I can say that the original heatsink is way oversized, so I replaced it with 2 smaller ones (considerably lighter).
    With this setup, the light gets hot faster (unless used at low power) indoor; outside instead, even standing still it doesn't warm up too much if used at mid power.



  19. #19
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    Could you give a little more information about the dimmer circuit? I went to the link posted above and basically understand what's going on there, but I was wondering how you integrated the circuit into the rest of the light. Does it just give a warning indicator or does it dim the lights at a preset temperature?
    Javascript LED Runtime Calculator: Click here!

  20. #20
    100% italian mtbiker
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    No, the temperature control just lights up a red led, which warns me of the high temp. The sensor touches one of the led's heatsink and it's set to light up fully at 90C. That circuit indeed starts lighting up the led as soon as the temp reaches the preset value, it hasn't a on/ff beahvior.
    Dimming is manual.

    I found out that in real usage conditions you don't really need a warning, as long as you keep your light half-power when uphill.

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